today to make these announcements? do you accept the criticism that the pentagon should have been warning about these sooner? >> first, we started the slowdown in spending on january 10. a number of the measures that i mentioned went into effect shortly after that. significant efforts were made to slow down spending on more draconian actions later. i know that people felt we should have said more earlier. 15 months ago the secretary sent a letter to the u.s. congress saying that the effects of sequestration would be devastating. after that we testified in august and again in september, we listed every single major item we're talking about. we said that there would be cutbacks in readiness and a unit buys would go down with unit costs growing up. what we did not do was detailed budget planning. i do not regret that. if we did it 60 months ago, we would have been wrong. we would not know that congress would have changed the size and the date and we would not have incurred the tigre -- we would not have incurred the degradation route. we sounded the alarm in every way that we could.
effective leader at the pentagon. john brennan is somebody i worked with as director of the c.i.a. and continue to work with in this capacity. and i always found him to be very responsible about how we can effectively conduct operations against al qaeda and against those that would attack this country. he is somebody a straight shooter, somebody who gives you his best opinion. he doesn't play games. he's someone who i think can really honestly represent the best protection of this country in that job. >> thank you very much. and i want to thank you for your forth right comments today about the sequester. ironically as what you said in your statement, it appears the greatest threat to the united states security is the united states congress. thank you, mr. secretary. >> thank you. let me mention this, after senator nelson, the first round will be over. there may be a number of us who may want a few minutes on the second round and you two witnesses have been here for three hours and you may need a five or 10-minute break. do you want that following senator nelson or go right through? i c
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